Genes in Development: Re-reading the Molecular Paradigm

Genes in Development: Re-reading the Molecular Paradigm

by Eva M. Neumann-Held
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822336561

ISBN-13: 9780822336563

Pub. Date: 01/27/2006

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

In light of scientific advances such as genomics, predictive diagnostics, genetically engineered agriculture, nuclear transfer cloning, and the manipulation of stem cells, the idea that genes carry predetermined molecular programs or blueprints is pervasive. Yet new scientific discoveries—such as rna transcripts of single genes that can lead to the production

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Overview

In light of scientific advances such as genomics, predictive diagnostics, genetically engineered agriculture, nuclear transfer cloning, and the manipulation of stem cells, the idea that genes carry predetermined molecular programs or blueprints is pervasive. Yet new scientific discoveries—such as rna transcripts of single genes that can lead to the production of different compounds from the same pieces of dna—challenge the concept of the gene alone as the dominant factor in biological development. Increasingly aware of the tension between certain empirical results and interpretations of those results based on the orthodox view of genetic determinism, a growing number of scientists urge a rethinking of what a gene is and how it works. In this collection, a group of internationally renowned scientists present some prominent alternative approaches to understanding the role of dna in the construction and function of biological organisms.

Contributors discuss alternatives to the programmatic view of dna, including the developmental systems approach, methodical culturalism, the molecular process concept of the gene, the hermeneutic theory of description, and process structuralist biology. None of the approaches cast doubt on the notion that dna is tremendously important to biological life on earth; rather, contributors examine different ideas of how dna should be represented, evaluated, and explained. Just as ideas about genetic codes have reached far beyond the realm of science, the reconceptualizations of genetic theory in this volume have broad implications for ethics, philosophy, and the social sciences.

Contributors. Thomas Bürglin, Brian C. Goodwin, James Griesemer, Paul Griffiths, Jesper Hoffmeyer, Evelyn Fox Keller, Gerd B. Müller, Eva M. Neumann-Held, Stuart A. Newman, Susan Oyama, Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Sahotra Sarkar, Jackie Leach Scully, Gerry Webster, Ulrich Wolf

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822336563
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
01/27/2006
Series:
Science and Cultural Theory
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction / Eva M. Neumann-Held and Christoph Rehmann-Sutter 1

I. Empirical Approaches

1. Genome Analysis and Developmental Biology: The Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model System / Thomas R. Burglin 15

2. Genes and Form: Inherency in the Evolution of Developmental Mechanisms / Stuart A. Newman and Gerd B. Muller 38

II. Looking Back into History

3. From Genes as Determinants to DNA as Resource: Historical Notes on Development and Genetics / Sahotra Sarkar 77

III. Theorizing Genes

4. The Origin of Species: A Structuralist Approach / Gerry Webster and Brian C. Goodwin 99

5. On the Problem of the Molecular versus the Organismic Approach in Biology / Ulrich Wolf 135

6. Genes, Development, and Semiosis / Jesper Hoffmeyer 152

7. The Fearless Vampire Conservator: Philip Kitcher, Genetic Determinism, and the Informational Gene / Paul E. Griffiths 175

8. Genetics from an Evolutionary Process Perspective / James Griesemer 199

9. Genes-Causes-Codes: Deciphering DNA’s Ontological Privilege / Eva M. Newmann-Held 238

10. Boundaries and (Constructive) Interaction / Susan Oyama 272

11. Beyond the Gene but Beneath the Skin / Evelyn Fox Keller 290

12. Poiesis and Praxis: Two Modes of Understanding Development / Christoph Rehmann-Sutter 313

IV. Social and Ethical Implications

13. Developmental Emergence, Genes, and Responsible Science / Brian C. Goodwin 337

14. Nothing Like a Gene / Jackie Leach Scully 349

Contributors 365

Index 369

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